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Children are complex, and the way a child develops differs from individual to individual. In this paper, I will explain the physical, cognitive, social, and personality naturalistic observations of my little brother, Johnny Pascual. He is in the transition stage of middle childhood (ages 6-11) to the beginning of adolescence (ages 11 to 12). My research will come from personal observation on his physical, cognitive, social and personality attributes.
Johnny recently has started his first year of middle school. Johnny’s physical appearance has always been good. He has experienced a steady increase in large muscle development, strength, balance and coordination. Since Johnny is in the beginning of the adolescence stage, he is noticing small changes of his body. Johnny’s voice is becoming a bit deeper but still retains a bit of a high pitch voice, but it’s normal for these puberty changes since he turned 11 earlier this year. His physical look overtime is going to change because of puberty. He’s very active and wields an abundance of energy. He used to do boxing and was in good shape. However, he stopped doing so for quite some time. He started obsessively playing videogames this year and his physical status has started to decrease, which may cause health issues later in his life. In the textbook by Gabriela Martorell, she talks about how around this age children decrease the amount of exercise they get significantly to an average of 180 minutes per day. Relating this back to my brother, Johnny nowadays constantly sits in one place and plays videogames for long periods of time, which only will increase the chances of him developing obesity and the amount of food he eats. During that period of time, he was really insistent in eating unhealthy food. Because of that, he has gained weight. The impact of his weight affected his breathing and his overall self-esteem; it was hard for him to try on new clothes. Sometime later, in about three months he got into a sport and he has been losing weight. He has become very active ever since he started doing Taekwondo. He has been extremely excited to go out since he started. Throughout that time, I saw how his strength, balance and coordination started to get so much better. He could stand up straight without any difficulty now because when he stopped doing boxing his posture wasn’t that good overall.
Johnny’s cognitive skills have improved in the last couple of months. He is starting to think logically since he is in late middle childhood and in the beginning of adolescence. He is open to new ideas, even when he doesn’t agree with a discussion he will listen and give his opinion regarding the subject. When he wants to prove his point, he uses scientific reasoning. He looks up to me and my influence upon him is unprecedented. He tells me that I reason outcomes logically before acting. Johnny, like every other individual, has his strengths and weaknesses in the educational world. Johnny’s language skills possess some flaws because he is bilingual, he confuses the syllables between the languages and that is typical for bilingual kids. Gabriela Martorell explains how the belief that children can learn, read, and write naturally just as they speak is flawed. Humans are adapted for language skills first then learn how to read and write. This information proves how it’s easier for kids to learn how to speak the language but have difficulties in learning the other attributes of that language.
Overall, his skills have improved. He took a test last month to see if he has improved and sure enough, he has considerably. Additionally, the test results showed that Johnny’s cognitive strength is mathematical. His skill is exceptionally high. Johnny would sometimes try new problems and he would do it without the assistance of a calculator. He has stated that he’s been noticing since he has entered middle school that students need calculators because they could not solve a question on their own even though sometimes the questions were very simple. Johnny’s mathematical skills are always improving compared to my mathematical skills at his age and his cousins. I have observed whenever his cousin Anthony and Angel come over to our house, they would do a study session together to review their math homework. Johnny on average would finish his math homework quickly compared to his cousins, which would be still working on their homework. Anthony and Angel always ask Johnny for help.
Every child has their own cognitive strengths. Johnny’s social development is influenced by the environment at home and in school. The home development is the most important that shapes the personality. Our parent raised him to be a thoughtful, joyful and to pursue what he believes in. Johnny doesn’t ask for things; he is happy with what he has. Johnny is very influenced by our parents, given that he is still a child. Johnny respect our parents because they were so hard to get a better life and because of their hard work he has a better life than they had. Johnny’s development in school is also important. Due to school, he is evolving his personality. He’s finding interest in new hobbies. Johnny cares about how people see him, especially his fellow classmates. To fit in alongside his classmates, Johnny attempted to get into the things that his classmates are into. As a result of this, I have seen his self-esteem decreasing in the last couple of weeks. Johnny was asking his cousin if he was too naïve, which he responded yes. When I see Johnny interact with friends or family, he is very conscious of what he talks about. He only opens up to people who he trusts, which is in stark contrast of his former self, who would open up to anyone. I have been observing how he is trying to change his hobbies and interests. I have noticed that he’s been interested in criminal justice. He finds it fascinating how detectives and police solve a mystery. In addition, he has been avoiding videogames as a whole and has been asking my parents for permission to have a social media account. He has been asking me how he can open a social media account because he wants to be like his classmates and his cousin Anthony, who has three social media accounts. Anthony in particular is very active on social media. He would sometimes ask my brother to make TikToks with him. Above all else, this behavior is normal for children in this stage because they are in the age of discovery; trying to learn who they are.
Johnny’s personality is always changing. First, he was always a shy, kind, and a really thoughtful individual. He would get very emotional if someone talked back at him or got mad at him. But since he started middle school his personality started to change a lot. He was more outgoing, and he cared about his appearance more. He does not like when people called him naïve. Johnny’s personality is continually shaping, and his thinking is becoming more logical than emotional. He doesn’t like showing his emotional side, he keeps it to himself now. Johnny dares to do challenges with his cousins and friends and previously he was someone who would never do that. Unfortunately, one of the reasons he changed so much was because he was being bullied. Though it was never physical but rather what he was interested in. I have seen him getting along with his friends more now that he’s trying new things and not just playing videogames.
In the end everyone is different at this age. Many things can happen in this lifespan. In the case of my brother, this is how he is right now but, in the future, he can change more than he has right now for the good or for the worst. Different people have different challenges, and everyone solves it in their own way.
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